Friday, September 30, 2016

Mr. Crypt #1 by Troy Vevasis

Mr. Crypt #1 by Troy Vevasis
illus Aleksandar Jovic
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Comic Book, 27 pages
Published August 24th 2016 by Alterna Comics
Source: egalley via publisher

This is a cute comic for kids. It's a series of 4-page shorts about a skeleton that comes out of his grave one day and starts wandering around town. He finds a home, a pet and a job. But whenever his fake moustache disguise falls off people realise he is a skeleton and try to chase him out of town. There are recurring jokes. The setting is the 1930's and the art is very good. It reminds me of the Harvey comics from when I was a kid such as Caspar and Hot Stuff.

Croak #1 by Cody Andrew Sousa

Croak #1 by Cody Andrew Sousa
illus. Francesco Iaquinta
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

23 pages, comic book
Published August 2016 by Alterna Comics
Source: egalley from the publisher

Not bad. Kind of a Blair Witch thing where three teens go camping with a video recorder. Something frightening happens and the reader learns there are "others" in the woods. The art is good; done in atmospheric cool colours, violets and blues. Only there are often too many bubbles per frame making it hard to read and taking away from the art. But, overall, an engaging start to a creepy story.

A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong, Vol 1: In the Bag by Rafer Roberts

A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong, Vol 1: In the Bag by Rafer Roberts
Illus. David Lafuente
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 112 pages
Published August 17th 2016 by Valiant Entertainment
Source: egalley via netgalley

Archer & Armstrong

Excellent! I love these two guys! This contains a complete story arc and is a lot of fun. This new series is a bit more cartoonish in art and a bit more comical than the previous series, which I'm currently still reading. But all in all the characters are the same and it seems to pick up chronologically where it should. Armstrong can't find something and goes into his bottomless bag, where of course everybody follows to rescue each other. A lot of drinking, fighting and head severing make for non-stop action and the humour is current and outrageous. Armstrong meets up with some people from his past and Bacchus, the Greek "party" god, is the villain. A fine romp!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Only Living Boy #1 & #2 by David Gallaher

The Only Living Boy #1: Prisoner of the Patchwork Planet by David Gallaher
Illus. Steve Ellis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 80 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by Papercutz
Source: Received an egalley from the publisher

The Only Living Boy (#1)

I expected more. This is the beginning of a much larger story. We're introduced to our main character who starts out running away and finds himself in a fantastical land on the run. Nothing really happens in this first volume; he meets two sets of creatures,both of whom he ends up escaping from. Some minor characters are also introduced but whether they will return is unknown. Pretty good art. But will have to read the next volume to see where the story goes.







The Only Living Boy #2: Beyond Sea and Sky by David Gallaher
Illus. Steve Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 88 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Papercutz
Source: Received an egalley from the publisher

The Only Living Boy (#2)

Things really pick up with this volume. Pure action from start to finish. Erik finds his two friends and is attacked on the journey to finding both of them. Then another journey takes place as they guide Thea back home. More attacks by creatures and finally Thea's world is being attacked when we have a twist and cliffhanger ending. Erik has lost his memory but we get a glimpse into his past and we also get to know more about his two friends and their species. An adrenaline-packed story and the twist at the end really makes you want to read the next volume. The art is really good as well.

The Deadbeat by Jeremy Massie

The Deadbeat by Jeremy Massie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 114 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Alterna
Source: Received an egalley from the publisher.

An interesting take on the superhero theme. A dark, depressing tale that ends on a sad note. An old superhero is a Deadbeat Dad because he never came to his daughter's rescue when the aunt looking after her made a plea. Instead, he assumed she was dead and lived an alcoholic life giving up his superhero job. As a young woman, she comes to find him, has inherited his superpowers, and is angry. Eventually, we find out that sometimes it is too late to change your life and make up for the past. The art is good, especially the facial expressions.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 30th 2016 by GRAPHIX
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Dog Man (#1)

This newest book by Dav Pilkey is a full-colour graphic novel. While wondering about the loose threads left at the end of the last Captain Underpants book George and Harold start searching their house and come upon hundreds of comics they wrote in first and second grade featuring Dog Man. They edit them, making the pictures better and correcting the spelling mistakes (though not all grammar ones) and present to us here three adventures of Dog Man a superhero cop. It's a lot of fun and just what one expects from Dav Pilkey. The target age group is younger than the Captain Underpants crowd but even I enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next instalment which the last page says is coming Jan. 2017.

Haikyu!!, Vol. 3 by Haruichi Furudate

Haikyu!!, Vol. 3 by Haruichi Furudate
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by VIZ Media
Source: Received print review copy from the publisher.

Haikyu!!, Vol. 3: Go, Team Karasuno!

A really good volume. Lots of practice on the court and teaches more about the game. This volume is very character oriented adding three new members to the team. The former coach, we've already met but he comes back and we learn his backstory and feelings. Also, two new characters are introduced, both have been off the team for a while; one who was suspended from school; the other had become scared to play anymore. We are given their back stories and current emotional condition. The book ends with the team playing a big practice game in Tokyo during Training Camp. Great story!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Batman/TMNT Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV

Batman/TMNT Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV
illus. Freddie Williams II
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 168 pages
Published August 23rd 2016 by DC Comics/IDW
Source: egalley via netgalley

Batman
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

This is all pretty much what one would expect from a team-up such as this. Very campy and full of cheese (and pizza). The premise is a little far-fetched with the TMNT & Shredder being sent through a portal to another Earth dimension, namely the one that includes Gotham City. The turtles and Batman plus Robin eventually team up to fight Shredder and the Foot Can who have teamed up with Penguin and later the much more villainous Ra's al Guhl. It does mention some events from canon, namely the Zero Year and the multiversity, so it does fit in chronologically somehow. The art is quite good, everybody looks like they should but Williams did his best job on portraying the Turtles. Nothing serious but a lot of fun!

Angel CatBird Volume 1 by Margaret Atwood

Angel CatBird Volume 1Angel CatBird Volume 1 by Margaret Atwood
My rating: DNF

I don't usually post DNf's but because of the author it got me going on a rant. ;-)

This is the most blatant thing I've read from Atwood. I quit reading on pg 27 when I came to the second nauseating PSA message about outdoor cats. I've read a lot of Atwood and love some of her works but her politics are nuts. In a world where people are beheaded because of their religion, the most important cause Atwood can think to write about is cats eating birds? It's not that I disagree with her, I have indoor cats. She should check the statistics on how many birds (and bats) are being slaughtered by wind turbines. I'm not reading this weird political tract. Think the topic is supposed to be a joke? think again. She just spent the last number of years trying to get the word "son" out of the Canadian anthem, because her kind of woman is so stupid she can't sing the word son without being offended. Rant over.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hilda and the Bird Parade by Luke Pearson

Hilda and the Bird Parade by Luke Pearson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 44 pages
Published October 11th 2012 by Nobrow
Source: PDF from the publisher

Hildafolk (#3)

Just wonderful! I've read all the Hilda books now. My review for the new one will be coming shortly. This is the book that has Hilda and her mother moving to the city of Trollburg. Hilda finds it hard being in the city at first but comes to recognise from her observations that there are many things to discover here. We are introduced to a new character, Thunderbird, the raven, who first Hilda helps when some kids throw rocks at him and, in the end, helps Hilda to find her mum at the Bird Parade. No trolls in this volume but we're shown where they live and why the city is called Trollburg.

Titans Hunt (DC Rebirth) by Dan Abnett

Titans Hunt by Dan Abnett
Illus. Paulo Siqueira
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 264 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by DC Comics
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Teen Titans
DC Rebirth

Wow! Very good. I really liked this. I had never read any early Teen Titans so some of these characters are new to me. A situation is set up where the original members of the Teen Titas have forgotten their past teamwork and they all start to remember and come together. I loved the way Dick Grayson started out as the secret agent, then went back to Nightwing and finally for a while even Robin. I have to say the first couple of issues were a little iffy for me. I found the humour off-putting and Alfred was like a parody of himself making with the one-liners. But then things got serious and it was a really cool team effort and it ended with not a cliffhanger but a question in the air making me want to read the next new Titans books. The art was really well done also. Everyone looked the way they should but just a bit different . Superhero teams have always been my favourite and this is a great way to be introduced to the "Rebirth" universe.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Legion Lost (New 52), Vol. 1: Run from Tomorrow by Fabian Nicieza

Legion Lost (New 52), Vol. 1: Run from Tomorrow by Fabian Nicieza
Illus. Pete Woods
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by DC Comics
Source: Purchased Kindle edition

New 52
Legion of Super-Heroes

I enjoyed this one even though I hated "Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 1". The two books have a common thread, being that they are both about members of the LoSH and reading this one made me understand LSH better. LoSH starts with an accident and the loss (death) of some team members. This volume is the story of those members; they are not dead but stuck in the 21st century. There are seven members and we get to know them pretty well with Timber Wolf and Wildfire getting the most attention. I really liked everyone, especially Tellus, even though I hadn't heard of any of them before. The story is pretty good and gives the team a mission to solve that they've brought with them to Earth. That arc ends and the last issue deals with them getting used to the fact that they are stuck on 21st-century earth. One issue involves the inclusion of a famous DCer who I always enjoy, so that brought a bit of familiarity for me. Pretty good team effort and I'd like to meet these guys again.

Legion of Super-Heroes (New 52), Vol. 1: Hostile World by Paul Levitz

Legion of Super-Heroes (New 52), Vol. 1: Hostile World by Paul Levitz
Illus. Francis Portella
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by DC Comics
Source: Local library

New 52
Legion of Super-Heroes

What a mess! There's got to be 30 members of this team introduced and I'd ever heard of any of them. Granted, I've never read anything about the Legion of Super-Heroes before but I usually like team efforts. The story is all over the place with practically a different person in every frame. Total chaos to understand. One star since I did finish it.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Bera the One-Headed Troll by Eric Orchard

Bera the One-Headed Troll by Eric Orchard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 128 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by First Second
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Very cute! I really enjoyed this children's fantasy. A pumpkin gardening troll leaves her tiny island home to save a human baby from a witch who wants to put it in a recipe. Along the way, Bera, the troll, meets all kinds of creatures, good and bad, as she explores the big wide world. However, she learns there's no place like home and that one doesn't need a hero to save the day but one can do it themselves with just some effort. I loved the artwork. Cute, creepy creatures and wonderful shades of brown keep it atmospheric.

Friends Is Friends by Greg Cook

Friends Is Friends by Greg Cook
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 208 pages
Published August 16th 2016 by First Second
Source: egalley via edelweiss

This is a series of interconnected shorts. It's rather odd and while I liked it, it really wasn't my thing. I prefer a continuous narrative. These shorts are the type of thing you find in the comics or on a webcomic. All together they do tell a tale of some pretty quirky people. We start off with the drunken elephant hobo who is befriended by a boy pig on a scooter. The pig meets a dead bear ghost and later on meets a bear in a diaper who the ghost is pretending to be. Later on, the pig's sister and mother come onto the scene. The story is about friends who aren't really very good at being friends but everything turns out all right by the end. I don't know who the intended audience is, though. Overall, it works well for kids being cute in a quirky, odd way and easy to read. However, the first few shorts have very foul language and then there is the continuous drunken drinking theme and the elephant remembers back to a lady elephant he liked but he cheated on her. Sooooo ... some adult situations make it probably not for kids.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Fairy Tail Zero by Hiro Mashima

Fairy Tail Zero by Hiro Mashima
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 208 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Purchased print edition

Fairy Tail Universe


Very satisfying story about the origination of the Fairy Tail Guild and the story of the first leader Mavis. This is the complete spin-off in one volume. A really sweet story that reads fast and even though I'm not too far into the main Fairy Tail series perfectly understandable. Can certainly be read as a prequel as Mavis doesn't return until Volume 53. For those who are more current with the series, they will probably appreciate it even more. Lovely story!

Sweetness and Lightning 1 by Gido Amagakure

Sweetness and Lightning 1 by Gido Amagakure
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 26th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
First published Japan 2013
Source: purchased a print edition

Sweetness and Lightning 1: A Recipe for Family

This is really sweet and the little girl is adorable and cute. The father is a recent widower and has started to learn to cook instead of buying Bento boxes for every meal for his daughter. The man is a teacher and he meets a student of his whose mother owns a restaurant. Kotori is always alone because her mother is a celebrity chef and always away, she and the teacher join forces in learning to cook. A really sweet story as I said and each chapter ends with the recipe of one item they made that chapter. I'm just a little uneasy as to how the relationship between the teacher and student will develop. She could possibly look to him as a father figure (I hope) but the ending suggests she might be having inappropriate feelings towards her teacher. I hope the story doesn't go that route. We'll see.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Secret Coders #2: Paths & Portals by Gene Luen Yang

Paths & Portals by Gene Luen Yang
Illus. Mike Holmes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 96 pages
Published August 30th 2016 by First Second
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Secret Coders (#2)

Yang is one of my favourite graphic novelists but this series doesn't do it for me. The first one was better as I found it unique but now it just tires for an adult reader. But let's take it for what it is. This is a book meant to be educational and get kids interested in coding. In that context, it does a good job of teaching and adding an extra bit of story with the kids having to deal with bullies and the big bad principal.

Susanna Moodie: Roughing It in the Bush by Carol Shields

Susanna Moodie: Roughing It in the Bush by Carol Shields
Illus. Selena Goulding
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 152 pages
Published Sept 6 2016 by Second Story Press
Source: egalley via netgalley

Excellent! This graphic novel comes to us posthumously from a script Carol Shields had been working on. It's an excellent retelling of Susanna Moodie's diary of pioneering in Upper Canada approximately the late 1830s. Concentrating on the hardships and rough life faced by unsuspecting British women who had been promised a better life with their husbands living off the land in Canada. This graphic novel features the most devastating and poignant moments from Moodie's writings to portray the life of one of Canada's first best-selling authors. A most compelling read with wonderful illustrations this bring's pioneering life to drastic reality. I've read the book by Moodie's sister, Catharine Parr Trail, the one that spurred Susanna to write the truth about the harsh land they found themselves trying to survive against, and this has made me more eager than ever to read Moodie's diary. An outstanding addition to Canadian graphic literature.

Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy by Doug Savage

Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy by Doug Savage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Source: egalley via netgalley


This is hilarious. Three short stories featuring Laser Moose who is always on the look-out for danger and Rabbit Boy who looks on the bright side of things. The stories are really cute and the humour is a little dark. Moose hears rustling behind a bush and assumes it is danger lurking so he laser blasts the bush. Oops! It was just Frank the deer foraging but now his leg has been sawn off and it's not the first time Laser Moose has done this! Later we find Frank the deer in a tree being attacked by Aquabear (who fell in a toxic swamp with a fish and turned half bear/half fish, only later he falls in again with a beehive and turns into Aqua-Bee-Bear. It's just so silly it's hilarious. The back of the book has a little edu-lesson with an experiment for kids to try. This is hilarious too. Fun!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Courageous Princess Vol. 1 to 3 by Rod Espinosa

Beyond the Hundred Kingdoms by Rod Espinosa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, Third Edition, 245 pages
Published March 24th 2015 by Dark Horse Books
First published: 2003
Source: Received print copy for review purposes from the publisher.

The Courageous Princess (Vol. 1)

A perfectly lovely tale of a kind, sweet princess. She's kidnapped by a dragon and prays for a Knight to come save her. She learns the dragon's defences have never been broken so she decides to help herself and escape. There we find this princess has a plucky spirit, she's able to take care of herself but being a lovely girl she still dreams of a romantic prince. The book is a quest as she travels her way across the whole land trying to reach home. She meets people along the way, some good, others evil, and stays a bit each time till things have been sorted out. This book brings the main story arc to a closure, so there is a happy ending. But the princess is not home yet and will be continuing on her travels to reach her home. An all ages book, but one I think will be most appreciated by girls in the "princess" phase.





The Unremembered Lands by Rod Espinosa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 21st 2015 by Dark Horse Books
Source: Received print copy for review purposes from the publisher.

The Courageous Princess (Vol. 2)

The first best thing about this volume is the font. The first volume had such tiny print I had to wear my reading glasses, then this one comes along and has a tidy large font. This continues to be a lovely fairytale type of story. Mabelrose returns home to find that her father has gone out to find her so she decides to go and rescue him. A few new people join Mabelrose and the King, her father, has a magical crew in tow. Fighting giants most of the time, all our characters end up going after the Dragon Queen and the book ends on a cliffhanger. The story is too sweet and nice for my personal likings but does make a delightful fantasy, especially for younger girls.





The Dragon Queen by Rod Espinosa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 180 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Dark Horse Books
Source: Received print copy for review purposes from the publisher.

The Courageous Princess (Vol. 3)

Most certainly the best book of the series! Mabelrose is separated from everyone. They all have a journey full of danger to make their way to her. But meanwhile, Mabelrose is planning a cunning ruse to outwit the Dragon Queen. Ends with the perfect "happily ever after". Highly recommended for young girls.